Texts from the past #9: Julie

Juliette Marie Bell is eight years old today. Her Grandpa liked to call her Julie.

I’m thankful for the years he had with her. The snuggles, the jokes, the laughs, the sweet times. Last year on her birthday her dad sent Chuck a picture of Julie via text. Chuck’s response was: “Time is flying by. Bee-U-ti-ful”.

We never dreamed this would be his last year with her.

““Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season.” -Big Elk, Omaha Chief

Texts from the past #7: I Corinthians 13

” vs. 5… does not seek its own…”

There were so many times that Chuck did things for me, not to gain anything for himself but just to make me happy, or to make my life easier.

April 18, 2017

Me: Thank you so much. You didn’t have to. Especially in that horrible traffic. C: I know but I wanted to and I could, I had time.  (He brought me something I forgot, probably my phone. I was subbing at Pelham High School that day.)

August 1, 2017

C: Your gas is very low. Do you want me to fill it?

Feb 27, 2018

C: Hey, would you be interested in eating out tonight since you’re going to be gone this weekend? Me: Sure, I’m going to get fatter anyway. C: Anywhere particular? Me: Either Beef O’Bradys or you can just bring home Jim n Nick’s. C: Hmmm, prolly bring J & N, my goal was to give you the night off.

July 13, 2018

(I was on my way to meet my cousin, Paula, in Arkansas.). C: Diagnosed diabetic. (I don’t remember this!!!!!!!). Me: Made it. C: Praise the Lord. You two enjoy.

April 5, 2019

(Discussing the poetry meeting in Orange Beach) C: I’ll go with you unless you happen to know someone who might want to go. Me: Let me think on it. It would probably be boring for you. C: We’ll talk about it. I just wanted to help you enjoy it.

April 10, 2019

C: I was going in order to support something you love and because I hate to see you spend 8 hours driving on top of 6 hours of meetings. I was willing to do Driving Miss Angie.

Oct. 2, 2019

Me: I’m already planning to go to Tampa in January for Grandparents’ Day. Could I go in early November, too? C: Why not?

It’s the big and little things I miss. Having someone who will bring you your phone or fill your car with gas. Someone who offers to accompany you to something they have no real interest in so you won’t be alone. Someone who hates to see you leave, but knows your heart’s desire to see the grandkids or meet your cousin. Someone who seeks your happiness.

Texts from the past #6: Pop Culture/Iconic phrases

Most of us have favorite movies, cartoons, shows that we like to quote. It’s fun when someone “gets” your reference. Chuck and I had a lot of quotes, especially from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Napoleon Dynamite, Seinfeld, Perfect Strangers and Frazier, to name a few. And Scooby Doo. As evidenced in our texts here…

Apri 6, 2017

C: Hey dearie, don’t forget to transfer the $1k from your savings. Me: Ok. My list of classes to avoid is getting longer…. (I was subbing that day) C: Ruh roh

April 27, 2017

Me: Didn’t know this was band class (I was subbing that day). C: Ruh roh. C: Hey I’m using the new microphone feature. It’s pretty cool. C: Just call me George Jetson. Me: Call me Jane

September 4, 2017

C: I’m about to eat something bad. Me: Ruh roh

I miss all the silly little conversations we had.

Texts from the past #5: Supper

November 23, 2017

When it came to cooking for Chuck, it was a pretty limited menu. Many of our texts consisted of options/discussions on what to have for supper. Here are just a few examples from 2017:

February 15

Me: Supper – chicken, pizza, eggs or soup?

C: pizza

March 2

Me: Supper – leftovers, pizza, eggs, soup?

C: pizza

March 29

Me: Salad and baked potato or bacon and eggs?

C: Bacon & eggs

April 26

Me: Supper – leftover chicken, leftover spaghetti or eggs?

C: eggs

I have been branching out the last few months, cooking a lot of new dishes. Some I have taste-tested on my brother and sister-in-law. They have been very gracious. But, as much as I’m enjoying my culinary experiments, I’d give it all up to make eggs or roast or burgers just for Chuck.

Texts from the past #4: retirement

pic via New York Post

March 7, 2018

“Did you know that Levitical priests were required to stop their service at age 50? In other words, retire.”

We talked about going home for at least two years. About retirement. The sadness of Chuck never getting to enjoy his retirement, his grandchildren, just knocks me over sometimes.

 “This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting.  And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. They minister to their brothers in the tent of meeting by keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties.”  Numbers 8: 24-26

Thinking about this topic, I did a little googling and found this –

“As a society it makes sense that certain jobs that require extreme physical skills such as fireman might have age restrictions.  The way in which the Biblical concept differs from that of our society is that as long as the person is mentally and physically capable of contributing to society in any form whatsoever, they should do so. Certainly, one might have to move from one function to another, but sitting at home waiting for one’s pension check and focusing only on pleasing oneself tends to hurt the individual as well as the society.” – Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

So, I guess I’m officially “retired” now myself as a teacher in the state of Florida. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me in the coming years, but I pray that He will use me somewhere, somehow.

Texts from the past #2: far away

12 16 78

 

February 14, 2018

“I feel far away from you. Are you going to buy a dress? Need some help? I love you.”

This was two days after Mom died. We came to Jacksonville to make preparations. I was with my brothers and Chuck was with his. I did buy a dress – a little black dress. He came along and helped me decide. I often called on him to help me decide; usually it was which shoes to wear. I’d put on one of each, stand on one leg and then the other while he pondered and gave his verdict. He was a pretty good judge of shoes.

So many words from the posts I wrote after Mom died I could write again now…

So I live out my days without them (him). I take Ruby now on my adventures and listen to lots of music with my husband. (alone). https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/thoughts-inspired-by-my-grandmother-asked-me-to-tell-you-shes-sorry/

“After she  (he) died, things seemed to go out of focus for awhile, and I felt strange to myself.”-from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry  https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/avetts-in-october-9-strange-to-myself/ 

“Now all my thoughts about them (him) start with knowing they are (he is) gone.” from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry  https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/avetts-in-october-10-i-have-some-better-words-now/

Last year was hard. This year seems harder. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/12/18/magic-or-meaning/

Death holds many life lessons. I am learning still from Mom, though she’s been gone almost two years. She kept the important stuff: photos, letters, family documents and genealogy papers. She let go of replaceable stuff. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/life-lessons/

Today is our 41st anniversary. I can’t help but think of my parents who had 41 years of marriage. Less than two months later Dad was gone. I didn’t realize then just how young he was, just 63. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/tag/mom/ 

I feel far away from you… I love you.